Early Inhabitants of the Bahamas Radically Altered the Environment

When humans first arrived on the shores of what is now the Bahamas, they must have been greeted by giant tortoises, crocodiles, waving palms, and hardwoods like myrtle. But all that changed quickly. A new study reports that human arrival dramatically altered the landscape, destroying most of the old forests and driving large reptiles to extinction.

The first settlers of the Caribbean, a Taíno people called Lucayans, arrived from South America and the Antilles. The exact timing of arrival of the settlers on the northernmost of these islands is not yet known. The region has few archaeological records, but some human remains have been found by divers in sinkholes on Great Abaco Island, Bahamas, dating to after 1100 CE.

In addition…

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